A History of the Hollywood Chronicle in 10 Books

Want to learn more about how the movies were made? These books are a good place to start.

By J. Hoberman

The history of Hollywood is a history of 20th century America — more precisely, it’s a saga of mass-produced fantasy co-starring the folks who made the movies and those who consumed them. No single book can hope to tell the story. “Not half a dozen men have ever been able to keep the whole equation of pictures in their heads,” F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in the first chapter of his Hollywood novel, “The Last Tycoon.” Still, these books, published over seven decades, even as the movie industry itself become a legend, offer a prismatic view of what used to be called the Dream Factory. Each is a part of the equation.

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